- The Company Today
- Remarkable Connections
- Pioneering Spirit
- Merchant's Mark
The East India Company today
When you hear our name you may already have a sense of who we are. Deep within the world’s sub-consciousness is an awareness of The East India Company, powerful pictures of who we are. You’ll feel something for us; you’ll have a connection to us, even if you don’t know us.
The East India Company made a wide range of elusive, exclusive and exotic ingredients familiar, affordable and available to the world; ingredients which today form part of our daily and national cuisines. Today we continue to develop and market unique and innovative products that breathe life into the history of The Company. We trade foods crafted by artisans and specialists from around the world, with carefully sourced ingredients, unique recipes and distinguished provenances. As we enter 2021, times are indeed unusual and yet another page in the long history of this pioneering Company. We look forward to meeting you at 7 Conduit Street boutique in London, open from 10am to 6pm, Monday to Saturday. we promise you a warm welcome and a taste of the exotic.
Over three hundred years ago, The East India Company’s pioneering merchants were the leading traders of luxury goods of their time, forging trade routes across the tumultuous oceans between the East and the West and trading a range of products including tea, coffee, spices, gold, silver and porcelain.
Today, we continue to stand for quality and innovation in each and every area of trade. We scour the best of manufacturers from all over the world to develop a range of foods that are exclusive and unique to our brand. We insist that our lines are made to the highest specifications with the finest of ingredients we can find, researching historic recipes till this very day as well as maintaining a close working relationship with the artisans that produce the innovative recipes in the true spirit of The East India Company.
The East India Company’s reputation is one of many dimensions. Its footprint extends across the world; spanning a wide range of countries and a diversity of cultures. Its presence transcends time, with a history encompassing of over 400 years of changes in kingdoms and rules, revolutions and innovations. Its trading activities encompassed an array of merchandises, materials and crafts.
The reputation and rich heritage of The East India Company give us the ability today to continue forging new and remarkable connections between various geographies, cultures, techniques, products, ingredients and points in time. It is these remarkable connections and influences that shape our brand and products today.
A Pioneering Spirit
We are pioneers, explorers and innovators.
We are idealists, dreamers and traders.
We are sensitive to the cultures and beliefs of others. We seek to enrich and enliven the world and increase our positive impact through our corporate and personal actions.
At the heart of it all, we are adventurous, honourable merchants; traversing the oceans to forge new connections, to set up trading relationships, to discover the exotic and elusive.
The Merchant’s Mark
Soon after receiving royal approval from Queen Elizabeth in 1600, The Company began to use an identifying mark called The Merchant’s Mark or the ‘Chop ‘ on all its goods and cargoes. Derived from the Hindi word, ‘chap ‘, meaning stamp, this mark was considered by many to be the first commercial trademark and soon became a global symbol of excellence recognizable across all of The Company’s trading territories.
Initially a simple mark, it evolved by the 1700 ‘s into a heart shaped figure surmounted by a figure four, or sail, and containing the initials of The Company, EIC. It is this same symbol today that we carry forward today to mark the quality and exclusivity of each and every one of our products.
Over the centuries The East India Company unleashed great forces and its activities changed the tastes and thinking. Its officers were adventurers and merchants. They set sail in a spirit of expansion to establish new trading routes and factories, to discover and bring back new products and to break down the barriers of the world, driven by passion, determination and enthusiasm. The perils of the sea were high and the risk, huge.
During the course of its well-charted history, the Company developed into one of the most powerful entities of its time. Its imperial past gives rise to controversy, but aspects of its legacy continue to influence our daily lives. The East India Company is credited with:
• Bringing tea to Britain and India from China
• Inventing the gin and tonic
• Introducing spices, textiles, silks and porcelain to the West
• Being the first joint stock company, originating the trading in shares
• Minting its own currency – named “Cash”
• The greatest patronage of the arts of its time
• Founding the great cities of Calcutta, Singapore and Hong Kong
However, some of the original Company’s and Officers’ actions, whilst at the time widely considered by society to be acceptable consequences of growth and commerce, today of course are rightly viewed in a very different light. This does include the involvement in the slave trade, which became the means to bring new world commodities such as sugar to meet the rapidly increasing European demand of the day. The Company’s involvement in the Opium Wars of China also resulted from trading again to meet the Western desire for porcelain, silk and tea itself.
Today, the values and behaviours of the modern reinvented company and brand retain the pioneering spirit and curiosity of the original Company men, but in other ways are completely the opposite to those of the past.